My father has what he calls his Starbucks name, the name that he gives the staff to holler out when his coffee is ready for him. He has several times initiated a conversation about what my Starbucks name should be. It’s not just at the eponymous coffeeshop, of course, but in almost any situation where a person might give a name that has to be remembered and called out in public.
I am bothering telling you so because the phrase and idea is in one of the questions in a Survey about American Jewish First Names being conducted on-line by Sarah Bunin Benor and Jason Bronowitz. It had not occurred to me that the notion of a Starbucks name would be a Jewish idea… and maybe it isn’t. So, since names are words and coffee is stuff, I bring it to any of y’all who read this blog: do you have a Starbucks name? Why? Why not? Do you think your choice of Starbucks name has a particular political power? Or do you think of it (as my father does) as a concession to a world that is unwilling to bend itself to you? Do you use a Starbucks name because your name is uncommon, or because it is too common? Do you work as a barista or host or other position that involves calling out names—and do you have any thoughts about the use of Starbucks names?